THE FLATS – Georgia Tech men’s tennis will host its annual MLK Invitational Tournament from Jan. 16-18 at the Ken Byers Tennis Complex. The Yellow Jackets will compete against individual players from No. 10 Georgia, Georgia Southern and No. 20 South Carolina in the three-day tournament.
Tech will play in the afternoon match each day, which will not begin before 2 p.m. The morning matches are set to start at 9 a.m. Individual’s will compete against each other without team score.
The Yellow Jackets start 2021 off against South Carolina in Saturday’s afternoon matchups, before taking on Georgia Southern on Sunday afternoon. Clean Old, Fashioned Hate will be renewed on Monday when Tech faces UGA on the Yellow Jackets home court.
Saturday, January 16th
9 a.m. – No. 10 Georgia vs. Georgia Southern
2 p.m. – Georgia Tech vs. No. 20 South Carolina
Sunday, January 17th
9 a.m. – No. 10 Georgia vs. No. 20 South Carolina
2 p.m. – Georgia Tech vs. Georgia Southern
Monday, January 18th
9 a.m. – No. 20 South Carolina vs. Georgia Southern
2 p.m. – Georgia Tech vs. No. 10 Georgia
Georgia Tech went 7-5 (1-2 ACC) during the shortened 2019-20 season. The Jackets still boast a youthful lineup as Andres Martin, Keshav Chopra and Marcus McDaniel all return having played significant matches during their true freshmen seasons. Redshirt junior Brandon Freestone and redshirt sophomore Pablo Schelcher look to bring a veteran edge to the young roster. Chen Dong of Yeronga, Australia was added to the 2021 roster as the squads lone true freshman.
Martin, McDaniel, Chopra and Pablo Schelcher each represented the Yellow Jackets in the Oracle ITA Division I Preseason Rankings released on Wednesday. McDaniel and Schelcher were slotted as the No. 31 doubles pairing in the nation, while Martin and Chopra ranked No. 41. Martin also appeared in the top 125 preseason national singles rankings, coming in at No. 59. Martin ranked as high as No. 60 in the 2020 Oracle/ITA Division I Men’s Singles Rankings prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season.
South Carolina men’s tennis earned the No. 20 spot in the Oracle ITA Division I Men’s Team Rankings, the organization announced today. It marks the third straight season the Gamecocks enter the spring campaign ranked in the top 25. USC head coach Josh Goffi returns seven letterwinners from last season when the Gamecocks finished the shortened spring campaign ranked 18th in the nation. Three of those returners learned their individual singles rankings yesterday – No. 32 Daniel Rodrigues, No. 81 Raphael Lambling and No. 118 Connor Thomson. Two Gamecock doubles teams also earned preseason rankings – No. 44 Rodrigues/Thomson and No. 69 Lambling/Jordan.
Last year Georgia Southern head coach Sander Koning led the team to a 9-9 (0-0 Sun Belt) record in 2020 before having the season halted for the COVID-19 pandemic including a 5-1 mark at home. The Eagles also had three straight Sun Belt Conference Athletes of Week in Pascal Wagemaker (Jan. 29), Alexandros Roumpis (Feb. 5) and Murphy McCullough. On Jan. 19, last year, the doubles team of McCullough and Santiago Suarez defeated No. 9 nationally ranked Franco Aubone/Benjamin Hannestad of Miami by a score of 6-3 and achieved a 2020 season high ITA doubles ranking of #47.
Georgia was slotted in the No. 10 spot in the ITA Div. I Preseason Rankings. Four University of Georgia men’s tennis players also earned top 20 preseason rankings, In singles, Bulldogs Trent Bryde and Philip Henning lead the way for Georgia. Bryde will begin the 2021 campaign as the ninth-ranked singles player in the nation, while Henning checks in at No. 18. Bryde and Henning have now been Georgia’s highest-ranked singles players in consecutive rankings as both had top 15 finishes following the 2019-20 campaign. The final Bulldog featured in the top 100 singles rankings is Tyler Zink at the No. 73 spot. Bryde and Zink are once again Georgia’s top-ranked doubles duo with their No. 8 ranking to start the 2021 season. Wrapping up the 2021 preseason rankings for Georgia is the doubles team of Henning and Blake Croyder at No. 20.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.
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